Fruit and vegetable incentive programs

Program basics

  • Offer low-income participants matching funds to purchase healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Incentive amounts vary from dollar-to-dollar matches to matched spending increments
  • Incentives are frequently redeemed at farmers markets, grocery stores, mobile markets, and community-supported agriculture markets
  • Often called bonus dollars, market bucks, produce coupons, or nutrition incentives
  • Typically funded or managed by nonprofits, private foundations, or local governments
  • Many programs match funds to SNAP benefit spending amounts

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)


Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

Target population

Low- and moderate-income adults and families

Program cost

$10-$20 per day per participant

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Increased affordability, access, purchase, and consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Increased healthy food purchases, enabling increased healthy food consumption
  • Increased variety of fruits and vegetables purchased
  • Improved dietary intake for families with low incomes

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Combining incentive programs with other nutrition and health-based programs amplifies effects and is more likely to create sustained change
  • Partnering with farmers’ markets and local vendors to set up infrastructure to accept SNAP and other food assistance programs can help provide equitable access and increase awareness in communities
  • Food assistance programs should include culturally important foods consistent with the values and traditions of their participants
  • As with many public support programs, disseminating program-related information and ensuring high rates of take-up can be challenging

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